Happy Birthday, Hadley
Sending you all my love, halfway across the country, and looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks.
We met 14 years ago this fall, which seems amazing to me. You were – and are – so impeccably elegant that it took me a long time to believe that there was, as you kept telling me, tumult and anxiety beneath the surface. I’ll never forget the New Year’s, years ago, when another friend met you and told me, days later, that her original impression that you were intimidating had quickly given way to realization of your warmth, generosity, and sense of humor.
You are the calm one who talks me off of the various ledges that I perch on weekly if not daily. Where I am a tornado, you are tranquil, where I am rough you are refined, where I am struggling you are serene. More than once you’ve pulled me through a very dark spot with the tenacity of your friendship (I’ll never forget the Fed-Exed box of pacifiers when Grace was one week old).
I am honored to be able to know the you beneath the gloss, but I also admire tremendously both the way you put yourself together and your view that each day is an opportunity to craft something beautiful. You bring beauty wherever you go, creating lovely spaces, moments, experiences. You are a thoughtful and generous hostess; you have rice milk in the fridge and diapers in the right size in the bathroom. You think of everything. Your aesthetic sense is an inspiration. Every facet of your life always strikes me as almost achingly lovely: your stationery, your Christmas cards, your handwriting, your clothing, the art on your walls, the fruit in your fruit bowls, the food on your table. Patterns, colors, songs all seem more vivid and beautiful in your hands, and you handle all of these things with ineffable, instinctive ease.
Every time I see you I leave dedicated to working harder at cultivating beauty in my life. You are profoundly generous with Grace, your goddaughter, and her friendship with Charlotte is one that I hope will last a lifetime. Our paths have been woven together now for many years, but in many ways I feel our spirits are growing more and more in tune as we get older. We’ve always been able to span a wide range of topics together, from macrobiotic food to Manolo Blahniks, from past life healers to Page Six stories.
Happy, happy birthday, my dear, beloved friend. I look forward to the road that lies ahead, and am more grateful for your support, wisdom, companionship, and humor than I can articulate.